4 Ways to Embrace the Critic
If you’re wanting to make a major change (to self, to environment, to system, to society) expect criticism.
People said the members of Metallica had sold out when they cut their hair in the 90s—then-bassist Jason Newsted remarked “Yeah we sold out—-every stadium on our tour.”
This is why people only watch American Idol during the auditions—to critique.
It comes with the territory. If you put yourself “out there”, expect someone not to like it.
When it comes t0 pursuing personal health, you shouldn’t only expect criticism of how/why you’re doing it, you should embrace it.
1. Critics don’t like disruption, until they do.
You know someone right now who does not like what you are doing to better your health because you have disrupted their environment.
You become a threat when you drop 20 lbs or start wearing that outfit they wish they could or you have the energy they’re jealous of.
Because that threat presents a decision point —join and encourage or marginalize and dismiss.
And critics will dismiss you until they can’t anymore. Win the enemies. #winemies
2. Look for patterns, ignore outliers
Part of embracing criticism is actually listening to it. Some people will say ridiculous things aka outliers (I mean this in the statistical sense). Dismiss the criticisms (especially if the critics do not care about you).
But if you see patterns, be humble enough to consider them.
Maybe you are too obnoxious when you talk about your diet. Maybe your diet is a fad and is not sustainable. Maybe you should try strength training instead of just doing cardio.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking criticism means a lack of support. Be thankful for the people who care enough to have a conversation with you that you will not like.
3. Silence is Deadly
If everyone agrees, get nervous. It’s okay to say what you think.
4. Be the Better Critic
When it comes to pursuing your health—think ABC.
Always Be Critical.
Always look for a way to push yourself in the workout.
Always look for a better source of nutrition.
Always be willing to tweak your plan if it’s not working.
Always be willing to fail enough times that success is undeniable in comparison.
I find comfort in the fact that no matter how often I get criticized, they often wrong— either because they don’t have the whole story or because the reality is much worse.
In other words, I know my own limitations much more than my critics—I am confronted by them daily.
Critics are compasses, not maps.